Lights On! Harbour City transforms for Vivid Sydney 2024

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Vivid Sydney 2024
Vivid Sydney 2024

Vivid Sydney 2024 has kicked off its 14th year with a spectacular opening night, as the festival transforms Sydney’s glittering harbour, iconic landmarks and cityscape with a showcase of creativity and innovation for the next 23 nights.

The Southern Hemisphere’s leading multi-artform festival will run from Friday 24 May to Saturday 15 June, featuring the world’s most innovative artists, culinary talent, contemporary musicians and thought leaders as part of its 2024 program under the theme of Humanity.

The ‘Lights On’ moment wowed onlookers with over 30 light installations and 3D projections across the famed 8km Vivid Sydney Light Walk, highlighted by the Sydney Opera House featuring the breathtaking new digital artwork, Lighting of the Sails: Echo (2024). Created by multidisciplinary Australian artist and 2023 Archibald Prize Winner Julia Gutman, with creative technologists Pleasant Company, the projection on the Sydney Opera House Sails digitises centuries-old fabric making techniques into an animated, modern epic.

NSW Premier Chris Minns said: “The bright lights of Vivid Sydney are officially on. For the next 3 weeks Sydney will showcase the magical lights, art and fun of Vivid Sydney. There is something for the whole family, so I encourage everyone to come along and make the most of Vivid Sydney this year.”

Minister for the Arts, Minister for Music and the Night-time Economy, and Minister for Jobs and Tourism John Graham said: “Since 2009, Vivid Sydney has been a global platform showcasing our vibrant culture, bustling nightlife and creative talents. Going from strength to strength in its 14th year, Vivid Sydney shows the world our colourful creative side. With the majority of this year’s festival being free, we’re looking forward to welcoming visitors back again in the millions.”

Vivid Sydney Festival Director Gill Minervini said: “Vivid Sydney is the original festival of light, art and culture, and we’re proud to be celebrating its 14th year with an incredible line-up of light, music, ideas and food under 2024’s theme of Humanity. It is such a privilege and honour to direct this year’s program and we’re so excited to bring festival-goers a calibre of Australian and international talent that not only maintains the standard we’ve set in previous years but takes the program to new heights. Vivid Sydney 2024 is a must-see, and we can’t wait to welcome all Australians and global visitors alike for the next 23 nights!”

Staged across the Sydney CBD, Vivid Sydney festival locations and venues include Circular Quay, the Sydney Opera House, The Rocks, State Library of New South Wales, Walsh Bay Arts Precinct, Barangaroo, Darling Harbour, University of Technology Sydney, The Goods Line, Wynyard Tunnels, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Carriageworks, and more.

VIVID LIGHT

As the sun goes down each evening during Vivid Sydney, the city will transform with light installations, 3D projection artworks and ticketed events for visitors to immerse themselves in a new world of colour and light across the 8km Vivid Sydney Light Walk.

  • Vivid Sydney has again partnered with Cinewav, enabling visitors to listen to the soundtracks to select projection artworks wherever they are on the Vivid Sydney Light Walk
  • From almost anywhere in the city, visitors will witness a 40km stretch of rainbow lasers emanating from the Sydney Tower, a universal symbol of hope by US artist Yvette Mattern titled Global Rainbow
  • One of Australia’s most-beloved artists, Reg Mombassa will reimagine the classic Aussie road trip on Customs House for Gumscape with Road and Creatures
  • Celebrated Chinese Australian artist Guan Wei’s signature iconography will transform the Museum of Contemporary Art for Sea, Sand and Stars
  • Nest, a collaboration between Leila Jeffreys and Melvin J. Montalban, features a large-scale circular projection at the Stargazer Lawn in Barangaroo, spotlighting the ritualistic mating dance of the brolga and humanity’s connection with nature
  • Step up to the Omnivisu view finder in Tumbalong Park, and let your eyes become the literal windows to our city’s soul
  • Horizon from Spanish artists Playmodes is a hypnotic, full-body experience complete with trance-like sounds and strobing lights at Harbour Park, Barangaroo
  • Towering over 15 metres tall, PORTAL from Lucid Creates frames Barangaroo Headland with a glowing display of light and atmospheric sounds
  • The Vivid Sydney 2024 drone show Love is in the Air will feature more than 700 drones over three separate nights for another fan-favourite Vivid Sydney spectacle over the harbour
  • Dark Spectrum: A New Journey returns to the Wynyard Tunnels in new and fantastic ways to take us on a journey of light and sound
  • The internationally acclaimed multi-sensory experience of light, colour and sound, Lightscape, returns to The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney

VIVID MUSIC

Vivid Music will ignite the city with a curated program of live performances, concerts and DJ sets across diverse venues, with something for the whole family, at any age.

  • Exclusive to Vivid Sydney, Tekno Train by Paul Mac is a one-of-a-kind event that will transform a Sydney Trains ride into a moving, sensory sound and light experience
  • The reimagined 100-year-old substation Machine Hall will be open to the public for the very first time during Vivid Sydney 2024, pulsating with performances from DeerhoofJen CloherCLUB4A and No Fixed Address 
  • On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights of the festival, Tumbalong Park in Darling Harbour will become the Vivid Sydney go-to for free and contemporary music right in the heart of the Light Walk for Tumbalong Nights. The 12-night line-up features artists such as Christine AnuSneaky Sound System, Forest ClaudetteTeenage Jones, , tiffiBudjerahgrentperez, and more, plus DJs and kids programming on Saturday nights all free of charge
  • Comedy darling Rhys Nicholson and ARIA award winning musician Georgia Mooney will transform Mary’s Underground into an intimate cabaret lounge for the Vivid Sydney Supper Club featuring live performances and appearances from MO’JUDon’t Thank Me Spank MeMontaigne, Brendan Maclean, Mark Humphries and more each Friday and Saturday from 9pm to 1am
  • Diverse and multi-sensory experiences at Carriageworks, with an electrifying line-up including Electric FieldsYves Tumor, Yasiin Bey and many more.
  • The Vivid LIVE at Sydney Opera House line-up features more than 40 Australian and international artists. ArcaAir, UnderworldFever Ray, Devonte Hynes, Snoh Alegra, Sky Ferreira, Thelma Plum and many more will take to the stages of the world-famous building in a program curated by Sydney Opera House’s Head of Contemporary Music Ben Marshall

VIVID IDEAS

The Vivid Ideas program sparks curiosity with new ways to experience ideas through the exploration of humanity, community, authenticity, respect, love and lessons learnt from the natural world – with theatre, installations and engaging discussions just the beginning.

  • From the football team that united Australia in 2023, Tony Gustavsson, head coach of the CommBank Matildas, and Mackenzie Arnold, celebrated CommBank Matildas goalkeeper and captain of West Ham United, will be hosted in an insightful conversation – Champions of Change – facilitated by Matildas alumni and now journalist Grace Gill at Sydney Town Hall
  • Golden Globe® and Emmy Award® winning actress and comedian Amy Poehler will step inside the Sydney Opera House for a special and unmissable In Conversation Ideas event and a special first look at Disney and Pixar’s Inside Out 2
  • After The Fact will offer opportunities to engage in free weeknight discussions on current affairs with writers, journalists, ex-politicians, social commentators, artists and academics – including Annabel CrabbRhoda Roberts AOKim Williams AMLucy Turnbull AOCharles Firth and more
  • Unique experiences including A THOUSAND WAYS: An EncounterWindow Dressing and Shifting Perspectives will offer immersive moments to connect with both strangers and ourselves
  • The Golden Age of Humanity will showcase nine selected films over nine starry nights at Surry Hills’ beloved Golden Age Cinema – curated by nine great Australians including Amar SinghSaxon MullinsKylie Kwong AMKate McClymont AMCraig Foster AM and more

VIVID FOOD

  • Vivid Chef Series returns to hatted restaurants Fred’sAALIA, The Porter House, Firedoor and The Charles Brasserie & Bar as they host unmissable foodie collaborations with Michelin-starred chefs including Max CoenIvan BrehmSelassie AtadikaNiklas Ekstedt and Sally Abé
  • Vivid Fire Kitchen is also back in 2024 with delectable offerings at its new location on The Goods Line, bringing together the world’s hottest culinary concepts, curated drinks and cocktails from Archie Rose and Starward, and entertainment with demonstrations from local and international pitmasters including California-favourite Shalamar LaneChristine ManfieldMindy WoodsLennox HastieJess Pryles, and more
  • Making its debut at Vivid Sydney 2024, the Messina Milk Bar will be an illuminated full-scale pop-up with a menu of gelato-infused chocolate bars, dixie cups, tailor-made milkshakes and spiders from the cult-gelato innovators at Messina
  • A Culinary Canvas by Danielle Alvarez is set to showcase women in Australian gastronomy at the incredible Yallamundi Rooms at the Sydney Opera House
  • Plates with Purpose will offer a taste of Ukraine at Kyiv Social, courtesy of head chef, Borys Chernyk who brings over 30 years of experience in Ukrainian fine dining
  •  Visitors can explore over 20 top chefs and restaurateurs at the VividPlace Food Trail or indulge in a bespoke bar snack and cocktail experience at Aurorae at Bennelong Bar, offering an incredible view of the lights across Sydney Harbour

For more information and to keep updated about the program, go to vividsydney.com.